In his own words
By now, word has gotten around that Donald Trump has said quite a few things—either in the past or quite recently—indicating support for many liberal positions and politicians. As a result, the arguments have gone back and forth between his supporters and his opponents as to what Trump’s actual belief system might be, and what he might be willing and/or able to do if he were to hold the most powerful office in the land.
But however one wishes to label him on the political spectrum, it is instructive to watch the following video. It features a sampling of clips of Trump making some of these controversial statements. As you might imagine, the video was compiled by a new super PAC founded by Katie Packer, described here as “a veteran Republican strategist.”
Please watch the montage and see what you think:
This website contains some dates and sources for the clips,
When I checked out the quotes in the clips and took a look at the original contexts for them, I found that almost every one of them was fairly represented in the video. Actually, for one, Trump’s position is even less conservative than it seems in the video, because in addition to his praise for eminent domain, Trump is also enthusiastic about Kelo.
Only two of the many clips in the video were used in ways that seemed slightly out-of-context. After saying he hated the concept of guns, Trump had added that people still need them to defend themselves. And when asked (in 2007) about his choice among the candidates for the best potential Iran deal negotiator, Hillary Clinton was the not the only name Trump offered; he also mentioned Giuliani and Romney.
It is a peculiar and jarring experience to hear Trump speak in the video with such conviction, and in the same vigorous and seemingly sincere tones as he uses today, and yet to express so many political positions that place him squarely in the liberal Democrat camp. In some cases, such as his call for Bush to be impeached, his positions place him to the left of much of the liberal Democrat camp.
If you watch that video and imagine Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, the opposition ads practically write themselves, particularly if Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee. In fact, you could probably come up with an entire pro-Hillary ad simply by compiling Trump’s many statements of praise for her. Or, perhaps that claim of his about how the economy does better under Democrats would do quite nicely as an ad for anyone who might be the nominee if it doesn’t end up being Hillary.
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]